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My son was injured after football practice when his teammates stayed on the field. He wasn't wearing a helmet, and I think he has a head injury. Can the PA school be responsible for his head injury?

 

A:

If you think your son has a head injury, make sure you take him to see a doctor.  Head injuries are sometimes hard to detect, such as mild traumatic brain injuries, which can have a wide range of physical and psychological effects.  Further, some symptoms do not appear immediately after the traumatic event; it may make days or weeks before they emerge.  If your son is exhibiting the following signs, you should have him examined:

  • headaches,
  • fatigue,
  • difficulty sleeping,
  • sleeping more than usual,
  • blurred vision,
  • difficulty concentrating,
  • memory problems, or
  • mood changes.

In terms of the PA school's responsibility, yes, it may be held responsible for your son's injuries depending on the circumstances.  The coach has a duty to properly supervise athletes to ensure their safety.  In football, it is vital for players to wear helmets to protect their heads from head injuries or traumatic brain injuries.  Therefore, the coach needs to make sure that players wear helmets during practice.

If your son's head injury happened during practice and he wasn't wearing a helmet, then the coach may be held responsible for his head injury.  However, because your son's injury happened after practice, it really depends on the facts surrounding your son's accident which resulted in his head injury.

If practice was over, but the coach stayed on the field with the players and saw that the players were not wearing helmets while running plays, he may be held responsible.  Because he was on the field and saw what the players were doing, it can be argued that as a coach, he knew the importance of wearing helmets and needed to tell the kids to put their helmets on to avoid head injuries.  Therefore, he was negligently supervising/coaching the players.

However, if your son and his teammates went back on the field to run a few plays without the coach's knowledge and decided not to wear helmets, the coach is probably not going to be held liable for negligent supervision.  He told the players that the practice was over.  When he left the field, no players were on the field.  Therefore, it is hard to argue that he was being negligent.

If the coach is responsible for your sons' head injury due to negligent supervision, your son will be able to recover financial damages for his injuries.

Each sports accident case is different and liability will be based on the specific facts of the case.  I urge you to call a sports accident injury lawyer to discuss your son's case.  Feel free to call my office at 877.944.8396 to schedule a FREE consultation.

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